Frequently Asked Questions
What is Direct Mail?
Direct Mail Marketing as described by the USPS is “Media You Can Count on To Drive Action.” In regular terms it is materials like letters, postcards, brochures, and catalogs that are delivered directly to potential customers via the postal service.
How much does it cost?
Postal rates for Direct Mail depend on the type of items sent and the class of service. Classes of service are First Class and Marketing Mail. Types of items sent can be “letters” or “flats”. In postal rules a letter is anything from 3.5×5″ and less than .250 thick. Rates for this range from 16.5¢ to 30.2¢ each depending on density per zip code and barcoding. The most common rate is the 5 digit rate at 22.8¢. Flats are anything bigger than at letter up to 12×15″ and 3/4″ thick, less than one pound. These rates range from 17.9¢ to 62.2¢ with a common rate of 47¢. Rates are high for flats over 4 ounces.
What determines the rate?
Density is the short answer. By this we mean the number of letters per zip code. 150 is the minimum number for the “5-digit rate” – if there are less than 150 for any 5-digit zip then they are combined in 3-digit, again looking for 150 or more. This then is mailed at the 3-digit rate. Next is basically 150 per state and then finally mixed. In super dense mailing 5-digit can be divided into Carrier Routes for additional discounts.
Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB) are required by the USPS to qualify for the lowest rates. IMB also improves delivery time. The information included in the IMB is the address information, Mailer ID, Class of Mail, Sortation info, and unique ID for each piece. Because much of the postal system is now automated IMB mail can be sorted and prepared for delivery without human intervention. In many cases the only human involvement is when the carrier places the mail in the mailbox.
What is the minimum quantity?
Generally 200 quantity or 15 pounds. There is no maximum.
What is the most common type of Direct Mail?
The most common type of direct mail is a post card. 6×9″ represents the best value.